Grass Continue Reading →
Grass Continue Reading →
I often describe Queens, New York as a concrete jungle, but since I first visited there in 2000, the city has planted quite a few trees and in April, many are in full blossom. It creates moments of beauty and a welcome contrast to some of the cities less scenic areas.
Pink apple blossom. A profusion of colour. Continue Reading →
I have enjoyed sowing and planting seeds in the house this year. But, rather inconveniently for my seedlings, I am away for ten days. So I have planted them out a little earlier than I would like, and left the tender seedlings in the house with water and water retaining crystals – hoping for the best. They could dry out, rot-off from standing in water – or they could survive. I will find out in ten days time.
The lettuce and spinach are vulnerable to slugs, so I left a ‘beer trap’ we shall see who wins.
More seedlings on the windowsill.
Increasingly I shop online. I never particularly enjoy shopping – especially for things like clothes. Amazon is very convenient – especially for things like electronics. But, while I like the convenience of Amazon, I don’t like its growing dominance and the more ‘soulless’ nature of this form of shopping. There are not many shops I feel an attachment to. The one exception is bookshops, which are somehow important for towns. I went to one town in South Yorkshire and it was all second-hand clothes shops, gambling shops and Pound shops – it was very dispiriting!
Where possible, I like to visit bookshops and buy something that takes my interest. I was browsing in this bookshop in Ilkley, where I saw a book called “Secret Lives of Colour” – it turned out to be a good book – something I would never have bought by an online search.
It had easy to read chapters on colour-dyes used by painters. It was really fascinating to learn the trouble artists had to go to – in order to get different colours. For example, there was one colour which came from a secret source in India. It was apparently made from cow urine, in which the poor cows had been fed only mango leaves!
Last summer we had the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run visit Oxford. A runner from Australia said they had been reading their journal recently, and came across an entry when Sri Chinmoy was speaking to me on a Christmas Trip in Malaysia. She said she wrote down, that Sri Chinmoy had said: “I made good use of time.”
I don’t remember this. When you were in close proximity to Sri Chinmoy, it was easy to concentrate on the consciousness of the moment. The mind wasn’t working; it was more like being in the heart, absorbing the glimpse into another word. So I didn’t really remember much of the conversation. It would have been very nice to remember, but the words always felt less important than the inner experience. Continue Reading →
Snake’s Head Fritillary – they like damp soil – may need watering! Continue Reading →
Before becoming president, Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer. Often he used humour to get the attention of a judge whom he needed a favour.
On one particular occasion, Lincoln was anxious to get the attention of the judge, he announced: “May it please your Honor, I am like the Irish sailor, and beg your Honor to excuse me for this hurried interruption.”
The line worked. The judge asked Lincoln to explain his ‘Celtic sailor’ analogy.
“Well, an Irish sailor was overtaken at sea by a heavy storm and he thought he would pray but didn’t know [how], so he went down on his knees and said: ‘Oh, Lord! you know as well as meself that it’s seldom I bodder ye, but if ye will only hear me and save me this time, bedad it will be a long time before I bodder ye again’.” (The Log Cabin Sage)
For some reason, it reminds me of a joke where there is a great flood, and a very pious man starts praying to God to save him. A few minutes later, a boat comes by and the pious man – says “No Thanks. I have prayed to God, and he will come and save me soon”. The boat leaves. Another 30 minutes and a helicopter flies by, but again the pious man says “No thanks. God always listens to my prayer, he will come and save me.”
Another hour passed and the sea levels continued to rise and the man drowned. When he got to Heaven, he couldn’t understand why God didn’t save him, so St Peter enlightened him – who do you think sent the boat and helicopter?!
No Deal Brexit – No Problem! Let’s dig our way out of this Brexit hole!
Who needs foreign imports when you can survive on home grown British turnips?
So in the spirit of make do and mend, I have been digging up my back garden and will be planting crops which will see me through to at least 2030. Continue Reading →
Recently, I have been learning how to do Sirshasana yoga (headstand).
It is known as the ‘King of asanas’ A yoga expert I.K.S Iyengar says if you only have time for one or two yoga postures – do this and other ‘inversions’ – where you put yourself upside down.
On Sri Chinmoy’s path, hatha yoga is not an important component – I did no yoga for the first 18 years on the path, but without being to cycle I have been seeking other ways to keep the body moving. This yoga also is a challenge, so you get a feeling of progress – self-transcendence.
As far as I know, the headstand is one of the posture Sri Chinmoy has specifically recommended.
“It is very good to do headstands or two or three minutes of asanas, Hatha Yoga exercises; only don’t do them for two or three hours. A few minutes will be enough.” Sri Chinmoy – The hour of meditation
It is best to build up slowly, not trying to get a full headstand but build up strength and control by slowly raising legs. For the first few weeks, I can only get up 70-90% of the way – I have long legs so maybe harder to balance!
It feels quite rewarding when you gain control and can hold the headstand. It is important to be able to come down with control.
I do it near a wall, but I don’t use the wall for control.
If I start growing back hair, you will know that headstands have a great benefit!
The other inversion yoga posture highly recommended is Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) I found this relatively easier to do. Continue Reading →